Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I haven't been a fan of oatmeal cookies because the one's that I have eaten have come from a store bought package. These cookies are filled with who knows what. Have you noticed that oatmeal cookies in stores sometimes tend to lack oatmeal? These cookies should be called something like "X Cookie with a Bit of Oatmeal." But since that's such a ridiculous name that wouldn't sell squat, companies end up deceiving their customers by misnaming their cookies. Enough of that I say.

I have now decided that nothing from a store can beat what can be made at home with a little care and some time. I found this recipe on cakerecipe.com a while ago which rated this recipe 5-stars. I've probably made this recipe 3-4 times now and it's been a favorite at our home.

This is a substantial oatmeal cookie.....not just a few flecks of oatmeal here and there. It has 3 cups of oatmeal -- now that's what I'm talking about! I love the way these taste -- perfectly sweet with an occasional bite into a chocolate chip. It's a little piece of mouth heaven.

Makes 27 cookies

-1 cup (unsalted) butter, softened
-1 cup packed light brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-2 eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking SODA
-1 tsp salt
-3 cups quick-cooking oats
-1 cup chopped walnuts (I left these out)
-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Comments and Tricks
1. First, this recipe did not make 42 cookies. It made 26 plus one small hardly cookie. I don't think I made unusually large heaping spoonfuls or anything.

2. At 12 minutes, the cookies looked like they weren't done. In fact, they may even look a little 'wet' on top but that's just the butter! This is the way the cookies are supposed to look. This is keeps the cookies moist and chewy. They will continue to cook in their own heat. So don't cook them for longer or you may dry out your cookie (and that's worse than under baking).

3. In general, and not just for this recipe, one should use unsalted butter so that you may control your salt intake and the flavoring of your food. If you use salted butter, you may want to halve the salt amount or eliminate it altogether (so I've read in the reviews).

4. My first batch looked awesome -- the cookies spread out so nicely. The next batches did not spread out as much. This did not diminish the taste just the 'look.' In reading some of the reviews, it says that if this happens it's because the dough has become warm so between batches the dough should be kept in the fridge! I'll have to try that the next time and report back.

5. Add 1 cup of oatmeal at a time -- it will make it easier to blend it into the dough. As you add more, you may need to use your hands to blend everything well. This is what I do.

The critics
I read a few harsh reviews of this recipe. I poo-poo those folks a bit. Lots of comments commented on the low flour to high oatmeal ratio. Well, this is an oatmeal cookie! Some commented that this ratio made it difficult to blend the dough. Yeah it may be a little tough but if you dig in with your hands, you should be fine. It's only in the last 50 years that we've developed all these kitchen gadgets. Some times they work and some times what we're given at birth works better. Don't get me wrong. I love gadgets and have some. But think back to the good old days when such gadgets were unavailable. When something went wrong in the kitchen one could really only look at themself for the error -- there wasn't a gadget to blame. So I leave this entry with that thought.

No comments: